Previously, I spoke about all the heartbreak and waiting associated with traditional publishing, but I realized I wasn't ready to give up on that dream just yet. I am still on course to self - publish my first book . I had enough feedback to know it was a good concept with potential just not for the traditional route.
I had other manuscripts, though, that did have more of a commercial appeal. I decided that I would save those for the traditional publishing quest. I followed my same process: write, critique, revise, repeat. This time I splurged on the editing. I chose someone on Reedsy with years of experience editing children's books with major publishing houses. I circulated it to critique partners, beta readers : you name it. When she was as polished as she could be, I spruced up my query letter and sent her off. Boy, did I send her off!.
I probably went overboard; I queried about twenty agents and eleven publishing houses. This time, I did more research. First, I got more active on Twitter. I followed a lot more literary agents in my genre. I came across one literary agency that offered a query letter critique in exchange for supporting independent bookstores. I was looking to purchases books anyway, so this was a win/win for me.
I also took part in my first Twitter pitch party. I must say this was heartwarming. I got several retweets by fellow writers and I was overwhelmed by the camaraderie . A great reminder that we are all in this together. I didn’t get any agent likes on my tweet, but I did get a good boost of confidence to push on.
My manuscript has been out for about two weeks; I have gotten four form rejections and that’s ok. As much as we hate to admit it, agents and publishers need your book to be the right fit for them. A rejection may have absolutely nothing to do with the quality of your manuscript. An agent could already be representing an author with a very similar story, and so doesn’t want the conflict of interest or a publisher may have a similar book in the pipelines. At the end of the day, agents typically only get paid if they sell your book to a publisher and well publishers need to confident of a return on their investment. It is a business, after all.
So, for now, I can be patient. I have the distraction of my self-published book as well as the other manuscripts in the pipeline. There are also other upcoming twitter pitch parties on the horizon, so you never know!